OpenFoam

Computational Fluid Dynamics is a very important part of the HPC world. Several readers told us that we should look into OpenFoam and calculating aerodynamics that involves the use of CFD software.

We use a realworld test case as benchmark. All tests were done on OpenFoam 2.2.1 and openmpi-1.6.3.

We also found AVX code inside OpenFoam 2.2.1, so we assume that this is one of the cases where AVX improves FP performance. 

Actiflow OpenFoam Benchmark

HPC code is where the Xeon E5 makes a lot more sense than the cheaper Xeons. The Xeon E5 is no less than 80% faster with 50% more cores than the Xeon D.  In this case, the Xeon D does not make the previous Xeons E3 look ridiculous: the Xeon D runs the job about 33% faster. Let us zoom in. 

OpenFoam 1-8 threads

OpenFoam scales much better on the Xeon E5, and we've seen previously that a second CPU boost performance by 90% offering near linear scaleability. Double the number of cores again and you get another very respectable 60%. Eight cores are 34% faster than four, and 4.1 times faster than one. 

Compares this to the horrible scaling of the Xeon E3 v2: 4 cores are slower than one. The Xeon E3 v3 fixed that somewhat, and doubles the performance over the same range. The eight cores of the Xeon D are about 2.8 times faster than one - that is decent scaling but nowhere near the Xeon E5. There are several reasons for this, but the most obvious one is that the Xeon E5 really benefits from the fact that it has almost twice the amount of bandwidth available. To be fair, Intel does not list HPC as a target market for the Xeon D. If the improved AVX2 capabilities and the pricing might have tempted you to use the Xeon D in your next workstation/HPC server, know that the Xeon D can not always deliver the full potential of the 8 Broadwell cores, despite having access to DDR4-2133.

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  • AkulaClass - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Nice stuff. Realy good to see them bringing power consumption down pr. Performance. Reply
  • WorldWithoutMadness - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Nice way to confuse people. Codename Yosemite Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Who would this confuse? Apple fans because of the OS witht he same codename?

    LOL. Believe me they don't know, or care... Most of them aren't even aware of what a "server" chip is, or even what a "server" is used for.
    Reply
  • IanHagen - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Rails developer checking in to remind you that a great chunk of the Rails community develop using OS X to deploy on Linux and hence is aware of "server chips". Even though you said that "most" Apple users don't know what a server chip is and that's accurate, the same could be said about Windows or even Linux common users. Stop patronizing.

    All being said, I agree with you. Who could possibly confound the Xeon D's codename coincides with OS X's 10.10 name?
    Reply
  • WinterCharm - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    First of all, your implication that apple fans don't know jack shit about servers is a broad generalization, and a stupid one at that.

    Second of all, anyone who knows enough to even consider buying a Xeon and a motherboard that supports it and the ECC memory, probably knows enough to not get confused. And plenty of mac users know what server chips are and what they're used for.

    Nice trolling though.
    Reply
  • adithyay328 - Tuesday, August 25, 2015 - link

    That's not entirely true, but I will agree that people a lot of the people who use Apples( No discrimination intended) only continue to use Apple due to their lack of tech knowledge( like knowing Android is the king :) . And, yes, they probably won;t know what servers even are. Reply
  • jeffsci - Monday, June 29, 2015 - link

    Geographic code names are the norm in the computing industry (I think because they cannot be copyrighted) and they end up being reused. For example, Intel Seattle is/was a motherboard and AMD Seattle is/was an ARM64 processor. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_codena... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Microsoft_co... etc. if you would like to look for more examples :-) Reply
  • RaiderJ - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Any places in the US that the motherboard is available for purchase? Quick checks looks like it's mostly sold out or otherwise unavailable? Reply
  • ats - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    Availability comes and goes. Xeon D has been a big hit in the large scale deployment markets and they've been soaking up a lot of demand for it, both bare and combined on motherboards like the supermicro offerings severely limiting retail availability. But it is available in retail but quantities are limited. Quite a number of people over at servethehome have gotten their hands on them. If you want one, you'll likely have to keep checking the major sites like newegg, amazon, et al for them to come back in stock. Retail boards are generally in the $800-1000 range atm (basically going for full list but then again bare motherboards with 10gbe tend to go for 600+ so its still a good buy and simple new 10gbe cards tend to go for $300-500). Reply
  • ToTTenTranz - Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - link

    How come they call this a SoC if there's no integrated module to drive even a simple display, and they apparently need a discrete PCIe graphics card for that D-SUB output? Reply

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